Despite the economic downturn that has resulted in a reported 32% decrease in sales in Laguna Beach, some vendors say they've already seen a spike in activity since Memorial Day weekend, and they are optimistic that the tourist season will again bring a bounty of business to the town.
Whitney Rose, manager of Hobie Surf Shop downtown at the corner of Beach Street and Forest Avenue, said that judging by the business the store saw during spring break, she anticipates a busy summer.
"It's been huge," she said. "I expect a big jump from the [lack of activity] of the past two summers."
Owner of Fawn Memories, George Nelson, whose souvenir shop has been located in the heart of the downtown area since 1974, said he is also optimistic based on what he's seen in the past few weeks.
"I'm seeing more upswing and traffic for sure," he said. "The tourists and customers we've seen so far are early indicators that sales will be up from last year."